On Sat 29th and 30th July, representatives from Exmouth Rowing club travelled east and took their offshore rowing skills to the South Coast to participate in British Rowing’s first Offshore Rowing Championships in Sandbanks, Poole. The event was pioneered by British Rowing and Olympic Rower Guin Batten who has long been a friend of the club.

A range of rowing clubs were represented; including two from the South West; Exmouth RC and Plymouth’s Mayflower RC who both proved to enjoy great success in a range of events.

The final races were run over a 6Km course, with 4Km qualifying heats in some events. The British Rowing competition included a new, exciting beach start and finish which involved rowers leaping out of the boat at the end of the race and running up the beach to cross the finish line! What a spectacle!

After a wet and breezy training day on Sat 29th and with forecasts of high winds and rain, race start times were tweaked to make use of the best weather window. Ladies were on the water at 7:30am on Sunday and the men followed at 8:30am. ERC Coxed quad ladies crew A comprising Rob Parsons (cox) Anna Childs, Morag Van Nierkerk, Amy Tomlinson completed the course in an impressive 33 minutes 31 secs to win a silver medal each and prove that offshore rowing in the South West is generating national level quality rowers! They demonstrated a superb performance and did the club proud. The Ladies B crew comprising Peter Johns (Cox) Laura Childs, Lisa Drakelaw, Lucy Hodgson and Kate Hurley and Men’s crew comprising Anna Childs (cox) Peter Johns, Jon Houghton, Rob Parsons, Shaun Durham came back with a sixth place each.

The last two weeks of August sees Anna Childs and Morag Van Neirkerk completing a further offshore rowing challenge called the ‘Foot of Britain’ where eight rowers will attempt to row 600km from Lands End to Broadstairs in a relay in as short a time as possible.